VICTOR KUMWENDA, Lusaka
POWER Dynamos will tonight start their quest for a second Confederation Cup title when they clash against Sudanese outfit Al Khartoum in a preliminary round first leg.
Powerâ€™s last appearance in the competition was in 2013 when they were eliminated in the preliminary round by Recreativo da Caala of Angola.
The Kitwe giants beat Recreativo 1-0 at Arthur Davies Stadium but lost 0-2 in the return match in Huambo.
Powerâ€™s best run in the competition was in 1991, under Fred Mwila, when they beat BCC Lions of Nigeria 5-4 on aggregate to win the then Nelson Mandela Cup [now Confederation Cup].
To emulate the 1991 feat, Power need to up their game.
Coach Tenant Chilumba is confident his charges will not disappoint in what will also be the sides first-ever meeting.
â€œWe are ready for them. We watched them when they won 2-0 in a league match on Monday night. They are a strong team but we are working hard and everyone is focused.
â€œWe also know that we will be playing away, we will not open up early, off course there is need for us to defend and we will attack,â€ he said.
In Luka Lungu and Alex Ngâ€™onga, Power have a sharp frontline that could hand Al Khartoum defeat in their backyard.
Ignatius â€œFigoâ€™ Lwipa and Jimmy Ndhlovu are options in attack.
Richard Kasonde, Julius Situmbeko, Kennedy Mudenda and Larry Bwalya will dictate play in midfield as Power seek hitting the ground running.
Chilumba could turn to Thomas Nyirenda, Emmanuel Chimpinde and Kelvin Mubanga if the other midfielders fail to deliver.
Al Khartoum Ghanaian coach Kwesi Appiah is determined to eliminate Power from the competition.
â€œWe are ready. It is a must-win game for us and the players understand the task at hand. I know it wonâ€™t be easy because Zambian teams are always strong but we are completely focused on getting a positive result,â€ he said.
Appiah has managed two wins, two draws and a defeat since taking over the mantle last month.
Al Khartoum have never made it past the first round during their three appearances in the competition – 2010, 2011 and 2013.
Appiah will look to 30-year-old striker Abdel Amari to bleach Powerâ€™s backline of Govenda Simwala, Billy Mutale, Alex Mwamba and Christopher Munthali.
International Joshua Titima will be in goal.
Meanwhile, Zesco United are tomorrow away to Swazi side Mbabane Swallows in the CAF Champions League preliminary round first leg.
VICTOR KUMWENDA, Lusaka